The Sunday Cult Film Corner: “Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991)”

24 Mar

Man today has been booooring! Lots of looking at boring figures and stats for something that i have to put together this week. Oh, and there’s that endless stream of transcribing interviews and  lots of other flotsam. Oh indeed a glamorous life it is for us all.

It’s at times like these that you need, in the words of the infamous Alex from A Clockwork Orange, a bit of the old Ultraviolence. 

And if it´s Ultraviolence we need then there’s only one film that can satisfy our urges to kill and win. And that is the subject of the latest instalment of THE SUNDAY CULT FILM CORNER. And…. ooh boy… this one is a doozy! Ladies and gentlement i give to you, ‘RIKI-OH:THE STORY OF RICKY’

The story of Ricky is rather simple in the year 2001, all prison have been privatised. Ricky Ho (Fan Siu-wong), is sent to prison for 10 years after killing a local crime lord responsible for the death of his girlfriend. While in prisons he is confronted by the violence and brutality that is the reality of the system now in place. Vowing to clean up the system he must confront and defeat the vicious gang of four and increasing nasty and outlandish gang leaders, as well as the evil Assistant Warden, who becomes hell-bent on killing Ricky. It leads to a massive showdown between the two men.

Now there are Kung Movies. then there are violent kung fu movies. then there is RIKI-OH!!! People don’t just get punched  – they get massive holes punched in their guts, head explode, guts get torn and used as weapons (?). The violence here is not just brutal, it’s so over the top that it end up being really hilarious, as people have mentioned, it’s in the realm of the early Peter Jackson movies ‘Braindead’ and ‘Bad Taste.’

And at the heart of it all is Riki-Oh. Now this is not a Bruce Lee type of Kung Fu fighter.  Oh he has skill and strength, but the amount of pain he endures to defeat his opponents borders on the truly masochistic. Not only does he  get the shit kicked out of him, he get spikes driven through his body, has massive stone slabs hurled at him and at one point managed to gain the movement in his arm by tying his tendons back together (I’m pretty sure that’s not a technique advocated by the General Medical Council)! the man is pretty much a walking punchbag where you end up going “Just how much fucking punishment can this guy take?”

In many ways all this ultraviolence is just as well as the low budget means that some of the effects are cheesy, bordering on the imbecilic. Rubber heads, bargain supermarket offal, that sort of thing. Technically the film is also a bit on the shabby side. The sets are shaky and the acting and dubbing is all pretty horrendous. Also there are a few moments that are ripped off from other films such as the skull punch x-ray moment from Sonny Cihba’s ‘The Street Fighter.’

But in terms of cheesy, over the top b-movie violence and action, this is hard to beat. So practice channelling your Chi and your 5 finger death punch and get watching some the most outlandish chop socky marital arts nonsense around!


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Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Film


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